Peter Sinclair: ManBearChicken Crock



Video-making Climate Crocker Peter Sinclair is appalled Fred Singer would say ‘smoking is fine for your baby’. That is literally how he perceives Singer’s view that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is not an effective carcinogen. Sinclair got so mad that Singer—having been maligned as a baby-killing second-hand smoke promoter for long—is contemplating legal action, he succumbed to a moment of weakness and wrote:

So have at it, guys. Let’s open this discussion up.  I’m all ears on that crazy, alarmist, second hand smoke thing.

Except this wont make it through for discussion on his website:
crock of sinclair

Koomey and Romm: the mote and the beam

A team of climate researchers and activists fail to disclose federal funding and scold climate sceptic Willie Soon for not disclosing funding

Willie Soon has been under fire from climate activists for a long time. The latest round has turned ugly, ensnaring collateral targets like Roger Pielke Jr, Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen among others in questions of funding.

On his blog Pielke Jr remarked how undisclosed conflicts were ‘endemic’, and pointed to a paper† by Jonathan Koomey, Joe Romm and co-authors, published in Environmental Research Letters as an example. He quoted the instructions to authors from the journal:

“… All sources of financial support for the project must also be disclosed in the acknowledgments section. The name of the funding agency and the grant number should be given, for example: “This work was partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through a National Cancer Institute grant R21CA141833.”

Koomey and Romm appeared on the Huffington Post with an article co-signed by scientists who are among the 53 authors of the paper. They declare no disclosure of funding was needed because they used no financial support (emphasis mine):

The reason why there was no statement of conflict of interest is because: 1) there were no “sources of financial support for the project” (it was a labor of love to honor a giant in the energy field) […]

They point to the acknowledgements section of the paper for the assistance received

no acknowledgement

They repeat the assertion

Again, our article had no funding source …

Via Google Scholar one can find other versions of the paper. One is from SciTech Connect, a US federal public-access research database run by the Department of Energy (DOE). The entry for Koomey et al reads as follows:

Scitech Connect

A pdf draft of the paper available from the page. Note the highlighted item against the field ‘DOE Contract Number’.

Interestingly, the acknowledgment section here states the work was supported by a US Department of Energy contract:


The blue box is from text being added separately using a pdf editor. Acrobat tells the extra text about US federal funding was added by a ‘JAWolslegel’ on the 10th of June 2009.

‘DE-AC02-05CH11231′ is a DOE ‘Prime’ federal contract with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) where Koomey worked. It is easy to find that a Jean Wolslegel works as ‘report coordinator’checking to see scientific documents published by the lab ‘comply with DOE and LBNL requirements’ and submits them to ‘DOE’s  Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)’.

OSTI runs Scitech Connect—is how Koomey et al 2010 ends up there, with reporting of funding ‘in compliance with the DOE’. The paper was originally submitted to the journal in March 2009. The authors sent the paper to the journal without declaring funding but the same paper was submitted to a DOE data agency as product of federally-funded research.

Conclusion? Either Koomey et al worked on their own time, published the paper and falsely declared the work as DOE-funded to a US government agency. Or, Koomey and co-authors’ work was federally funded and reported to authorities appropriately but they failed to declare funding in Environmental Research Letters. It has to be one or the other, and either constitutes a lapse.

They irony is Koomey and Romm’s actions are like Soon’s: failure to disclose funding to journal. Only in Soon’s case the funding agency stipulated non-disclosure in some instances and in others the journal had no policy or requirement for disclosure. Not only do Koomey and Romm fail to disclose funding, they expressly state the opposite trying to morally berate a fellow scientist.

† Defining a standard metric for electricity savings. Koomey J, Akbari H, Blumstein C et al Environ. Res. Lett. 5 (Jan-Mar 2010) 014017)  10.1088/1748-9326/5/1/014017

The Post-Pachauri World

The indefensible


Pachauri – Cover of The New York Academy of Sciences magazine

When the Pachauri messages came out, they read like the sex-crazed ravings of a octogenarian. Much of the initial excitement and focus has been on the sleazy aspect. But a 14-page list of electronic- and hand-written messages from the police report, filed following a complaint by the TERI employee who was their recipient, paints a damaging picture.

Pachauri and his lawyers have claimed his computers and phone were ‘hacked’, generating the text messages and emails that are on public display.

At the end, comes an email from the TERI employee, addressing Pachauri:

Dear Dr. Pachauri,


You began passing on my work to others without checking with/informing me and this time simply marked me a copy over email without actually having to tell me in person and or without a reason. … It is leaving me with no other thought but that how my request to sit in economy was received in personal distaste and just how you react to all this. Pretty unfortunate and sadly, very disappointing.

The response:

I would have preferred not to respond to your email. But what I will say is that you should reflect on the massive insult you heaped on me by indicating that I was so toxic that you would prefer not to sit next to me on the plane. If that be the case there is no room for any interaction between us. … To me that act of yours represented the ultimate in haughtiness, arrogance and insulting behaviour. …

You are welcome to remain a paid guest of TERI. I really would not burden you with any work in future. […]

About 15 days later, comes the next:

Since I really cannot assign any productive work to you in my office, I am thinking of moving you to your former Division, B and B. However, I will have to discuss that with Dr. Alok Adholeya. […]

The responding email gives the employee’s reluctance to sit next to Pachauri on a flight as direct reason for not assigning further work. This is followed by suggestion of a move to a different division.

According to the Economic Times, Pachauri’s lawyers say the woman filed the harassment complaint ‘only after the [she] was told she might have to move due to her “poor performance”.

These messages are far removed from the ‘Return to Almora’-style outpourings. If true they show a boss ready to damage the career of an underling for not complying with sexual demands. I wonder how, and whether Pachauri’s lawyers will show these emails and messages to be a ‘hacker’s and not his. If they are his they are indefensible – they show the full face of sexual harassment. Time will tell.

Defending the indefensible


Pachauri – Nature’s Newsmaker of the Year 2007

One of the rules of climate propaganda is nothing bad ever happens to ‘the cause’. Now that the climate world has lost Pachauri, there is a sudden need to reconcile the blow with the required plastic cheerful front.

Wikipedia’s William Connolley has stepped up with the narrative. Here’s the short version: ‘Pachauri can be safely pushed under the bus’

The Pachauri situation is a problem for the global warming establishment. It can’t go pretending nothing bad happened — an IPCC chair resigned abruptly over revelations that spilled out one fateful weekend. It cannot defend him – that could potentially mean defending sexual harassment. But defending comes naturally especially to climate activists who believe in not ceding an inch of ground.

This is Connolley’s lead:

But [Pachauri] was clearly a creation of Bush1; which needs to be remembered, lest anyone feel themselves trapped or pressured into defending RKP.

That’s right: the guy who was the face of the organization, darling of the green media contingent, Nature magazine’s ‘Newsmaker of the Year 2007‘, two-time head of the IPCC, put back in his post a second time by its members, and ‘Nobel Laureate’ in countless ill-researched gushing editorials and news items, is suddenly a Bush appointee who ‘wasn’t a successful head’ and only a bone thrown to the ‘Third world and India’.

Sorry WC. Would have been more convincing if you had thrown Bush stooge ‘Patchy’ to the wolves, before charges of sexual harassment and criminal intimidation were filed.

Lubos the Adjuster


Physicist Lubos Motl, long-running commentator on all things climate, declared recently he agreed with BEST’s Steven Mosher readers were ‘anti-science nut jobs’.

I agree with Mosher: these “principled” critics of all adjustments are surely throwing the baby out with the bath water. And by the way, I do agree with the description of those who get crazy whenever somebody mentions the word “adjustment” as anti-science nut jobs, and yes, I do think that a large number of such people exists among the WUWT regular readers

Except Mosher said no such thing.

Mosher did call WUWT readers anti-science nut jobs but at a different time. Trying to convince people not to use the word ‘denier’, he said even such loony nut jobs as WUWT readers refrained from using ‘SS’ for Skepticalscience:

anti science nut job

I pointed this out [#1]:

lubos beg

Lubos claimed he hadn’t mixed anything up


I gave him the link to Mosher’s comment – the ‘evidence’. Lubos disappeared it [#2]:

lubos4 link

I waited for about an hour and asked, ‘hey, could you look, a comment (with evidence) disappeared:

lubos look


What I got in return:

This is the part where the tricks start. After a while, Lubos allows the second of my comments – the disappeared one – to appear. Along with a long reply.

rant lub

Lubos was not only tweaking comment timings, he was going the extra mile agreeing with Mosher—it was now ‘infantile’ to be using such acronyms as SS, and a sign of ‘demagoguery’.

Something must have clicked. He was infantile not too long ago himself:

Dear Shub, I haven’t mentioned the funny exchange whether the acronym of Skeptical Science is “SS” at all if I have to say it now, then indeed, the right acronym of the website is “SS” :-)

So this is what Lubos does:  he goes back to his own comment where he made the “SS” joke (marked ) and adds a sentence. He adds the bolded portion to make his words fit better:

Dear Shub, I haven’t mentioned the funny exchange whether the acronym of Skeptical Science is “SS” at all – if I have to say it now, then indeed, the right acronym of the website is “SS” :-) even though I may avoid this acronym because John Cook is too small a crackpot to hijack such a formidable trademark

before after-01


Ironic? A physicist supporting adjustments to past records, adjusting the record of his own comments?

How does one trust anything Lubos’ has written or said?

The dishonesty in this brief interaction repeats like a fractal in the climate debate. Everything from the desirability of adjustments to skeptics ‘demanding’ them and their impact is spin and PR.


Temperature adjustments: Dodds, Mosher and Venema cannot be happy

As always, the climate orthodoxy possesses little understanding of how the internet works. They struggle to understand how ‘small, inconsequential issues’ seem to get magnified and blow up in their faces. There is undeniable shock at the Booker articles on temperature adjustments in the Telegraph which have over 35,000 comments and 100,000 social media ‘shares’. Here’s one old explanation (from yours truly):

…deficiencies and uncertainties in climate science are not allowed to become part of everyday discussion…

It is for this reason primarily that Trenberth’s Travesty, Mike’s Nature Trick and Jones’ Hide the Decline are all memes of the post-Climategate age. They carry memetic value because their opposites are pushed relentlessly as part the dominant paradigm, even as scientists apparently discuss doubts in private.

The current episode was set off by relentless ‘hottest year ever’ oversell perpetrated by such sources as AP’s Seth Borenstein. It led Paul Homewood to look at hot areas in the global average starting with Paraguay.

‘…if you want to properly understand an argument or debate you need to look at the primary sources’ reminds Kevin Marshall at manicbeancounter, just as Steven Mosher and a clueless Lubos have not done. Marshall traces the evolution of the story:

With the Booker story exploding, a clutch of scientists and enthusiasts decided they needed to spread their own memes. They picked up a rash of ad hoc excuses to fight the mighty Booker.

Excuse #1 – the adjustments produce no change, by Mosher with BEST data.


Messing with temperature trends strikes anyone as a problem. It did climate consensus supporter Andrew Dodds:


Dodds is everyman – he has the questions anyone would have. Going by Mosher – if an adjusted and unadjusted record are roughly the same, there’re no problems. Which means, if an adjusted record is not the same as its unadjusted progenitor, and actually its opposite in trend, there is a problem.


Numerous stations show change in sign, shape, gaps, everything … by way of adjustment. Many of them end up with a warm trend. Accordingly, there is skepticism. Which brings us to Excuse #2.

#2 – we make cooling adjustments too! – by Victor Venema and others.

To prove the adjustments don’t just warm records all over the place, Venema whips out this graph of sea temperatures, where he says ‘scientists’ cooled a steep warming (grey dashed line) to a more gentle one. Hurray!

ocean raw adj1-01

What about the Dodds criterion? The adjustments change the shape of the trend dramatically. Surely, this is a case for natural extreme skepticism.

Dodds may not know this but the global record is subject to such large-scale trend-altering adjustments at several points. With every adjustment, a piece of the climate orthodox narrative fits better with the instrumental temperature record.

Venema’s graph shows a 1910-1940 adjustment. Here’s an adjustment Phil Jones proposed for 1940-1960:


Here is the result of an adjustment Kevin Cowtan and Robert Way propose 1997 onward:



Global temperatures are not derived hands-off, they are beaten into shape. They are malleable and they accommodate everything from 19th century proxy records to sulphate aerosols to the ‘pause’. As Steven Goddard notes, ‘the fact that they can provide theoretical justifications for data tampering, tells us absolutely nothing about the correctness of what they are actually doing’.

All Booker and Delingpole have demonstrated is this. In the global warming narrative, if you adjust something, something else breaks: Dodds, Mosher and Venema cannot all be happy at the same time.


The Puerto Casado Story (it moved because there is change and there is a change because it moved)


A view from the river at Puerto Casado. Photo – Julio Balles

Puerto Casado is a small town along the border of Paraguay whose temperature history became a topic on Christopher Booker’s column in the Telegraph. Booker showed how a raw cooling trend had metamorphosed into its opposite after ‘adjustments’. This was contested quickly by climate scientist Ed Hawkins who pointed to the town’s record on BEST. It indicated the station had been moved.


BEST record: the red diamonds are marked ‘station moves’.

Perhaps the Puerto Casado station had been shifted to a cooler location… introducing a false cooling trend? The natural question to ask is – how does BEST know a rural station in the remote reaches of South America moved twice? Where does it get this information?

The answer, it turns out, is an entangled mess. The Puerto Casado record in BEST includes metadata from various sources. Metadata is what contains station location information. The sources collated by BEST show different latitude-longitude pairs for the station. The co-ordinates are slightly different, and they fall not far from one other.


The town labelled ‘La Victoria’ is Puerto Casado, for which it is another name. Some of the coordinates derived from BEST’s data sources for the station are shown.

BEST does not know the field reality of the station. Nor does it not know if the station truly moved or locations were wrongly recorded. Nor does BEST have information on the timing of any move. What it does is assume the station moved—given that different coordinates were recorded—and looks for breaks/shifts in the temperature. If breaks are present they are assumed to be due to moves. Plus, the breaks are assumed to have caused the station to look different from its neighbours.

In other words, what BEST records as ‘moves’ are not known documented moves.

Following this, BEST transforms the temperature series. It compensates for the ‘moves’ and tries to remove shifts. The result is a Puerto Casado record, which has its linear trend reversed by close to 2.7C per century.

Puerto Casado BEST

To answer our original questions about BEST: was the station moved? We don’t know for sure. When was it moved? We don’t know. What is the effect of the supposed moves? We don’t know but we think it changed the temperature. How do you know this? Because there is change. When do you think the moves happened? When the changes occurred. And what will do to ‘correct’ this? Make Puerto Casado look like every other station around it.

We can ask BEST further questions: Are you not data-peeking? How did you settle on such non-independent analysis? We can expect silence.

Remarkably enough, supporters of climate orthodoxy manage to top such circuitous circular reasoning. Kevin Cowtan, another global temperature adjustment practitioner, declares the station instruments at Puerto Casado must have suffered calibration errors—at the same points in time when BEST says the stations must have moved.

For all the hype, BEST’s methods produce local records that are no better than the NCDC, conjuring ad-hoc rationalizations for ‘adjustments’ from the temperatures themselves. The reasoning is circular and BEST and others do not even attempt to hide it. Journalists like Booker are right to question such methods and data.

Greenpeace pushes veteran activist under the bus

The Greenpeace Nazca lines fiasco only exposes it further. After delaying handing over names of the activists who were involved in the letter-spreading activity, Greenpeace now gives the Peruvian government just 4 names in a secret report. The initial Greenpeace excuse, if you remember, was that it did not know who took part in the activity, and that it needed time to contact each of its 27 subsidiary bodies.

Now the green group has changed tack, submitting the names of only four, claiming the whole activity was a ‘rogue operation’ run by Wolfgang Sadik and his boss Martin Kaiser — an excuse that is wholly implausible and unlikely given that it was fully poised to exploit the action for publicity and fund-raising. Greenpeace further launders such notions as (i) several people in Greenpeace advising against the activity (not impossible but implausible, and immaterial), (ii) Greenpeace decided on the operation after reaching Peru (laughable, considering the logistics and planning including GIS layouts, and such assets as colored bricks and matching t-shirt attire)

The utter untruthfulness involved is evident from what Mark Hertsgaard appears was told by Greenpeace (emphasis mine):

Sadik and his team went ahead with the action even as others in Greenpeace strongly advised him against it, Townsley confirmed. “The decisions were taken by those responsible while they were in Peru.  At that point, there was no recourse back to Greenpeace International in Amsterdam or Greenpeace Germany in Hamburg. … Certainly there are many people [within Greenpeace] who think that our internal processes weren’t followed properly and if they had been, this activity would have been caught and stopped.

Compare the above to what it declared on Greenpeace Netherlands’ website:

…Yellow Colored stones holding the letters in place. Once the aerial photograph is taken, they extract the substances letters away again, without equipment behind. A GIS system enabled them to lay everything on the right place. The preparation of this action lasted about four months. Every step was carefully calculated.

What does one do in the face of such duplicity?

What’s worse, of the names submitted, Greenpeace exonerates 3 of the 4 people, shifting all blame on Wolfgang Sadik:

Neither Kaiser, Wiedemann nor Fernandez were involved in “the design or the delivery of the Nazca Lines action,” Townsley said, adding that Sadik was “the principal architect and coordinator, and he himself has volunteered that information to the prosecutor.”

In effect, Greenpeace is pushing one of its veteran activists under the bus. Is Greenpeace trying to protect higher-ups in its renewable energy campaign wing from the fallout and consequences? Absolutely. By its own admisison, this was planned over a long period and it is extremely unlikely none other than Sadik knew about it at Greenpeace.

Young environmentalists should be extremely wary of joining such an organization.

The EDF vs Brazil

Dear Brazil

Have you heard that environmental pressure group EDF is criticizing your choice of ministers for agriculture and science? It has compared them to Holocaust deniers. Apart from EDF’s right to criticize sovereign governments (none) and potential benefits to Brazil if you followed its wishes (none), I’m sure there are good things to come from toeing EDF diktats.

Here’s the list: pressure groups would no longer call minister Katia Abreu ‘chainsaw queen’ (what a relief that would be). Science minister and communist Aldo Rebelo would no longer be called a ‘hard-core tea partier’ (a bigger ignominy lifted). Additional benefits? You can look ‘in touch with modern science’ (oooh) and not look ‘really provincial and silly on the world stage’ (how backward would that be).

Commie Rebelo in particular…does he know this is the 21st century? Why is he stuck with ideas from ’19th century Karl Marx protégé  Friedrich Engels’? ‘Government’ is no more, the rage is ‘governance’. Now, countries give up rights to NGOs under ‘shared governance’. Otherwise, the ‘international community’ might ‘roll their eyes and cringe’.

You know, EDF is a model organization. They helped BP set up their ‘internal carbon-trading system’, they accepted millions of dollars from Michael Bloomberg to greenwash the dangerous and controversial technique™ called fracking and published prop papers in PNAS supporting fracking. The latter dangerous and controversial technique is called ‘frackademia‘. Take a look at this article: it appears in Desmogblog and Tenney Naumer reproduces it.

When Naumer links to an item, you should know you’re in trouble.

Does the EDF-BP link bother you? EDF is a pioneer in ‘partnership with industry model’ of environmentalism – i.e, sleeping with the enemy. Isn’t it funny they’re jumping on Abreu for the same thing? Other big gun green groups followed EDF: Sierra Club with Chesapeake Energy and National Audobon Society with Monsanto. EDF itself has gotten in bed with McDonalds and Fedex (more evil corporations).

Did you know EDF collected donations from Walmart – the evil corporation that probably has more branches than the Amazon has trees?

By the way, did you know environmental groups were themselves ‘rolling their eyes’ at EDF’s ‘modus operandi‘? You criticize EDF you chase donors away (who likely roll their eyes as they run) (emphasis mine):

Of course, everyone in the environmental movement knows that this is EDF’s modus operandi. In fact, for years, public interest advocates have rolled their eyes and complained to one another in private about how EDF undercuts their work time and time again. But, everyone is afraid to speak out because they might upset funders, who are turned off by disagreements among environmentalists.

One large circle of eye-rolling, isn’t it?

Wait till you hear from anonymous former employees – the horse’s mouth. EDF, we are told, takes lots of money from US Republicans (evil), but has a ‘partisan management’ that is protective of ‘Democratic interests’. Check this out: in a bout of self eye-rolling, EDF employess ganged up and refused a vacation spot…because Pat Robertson owned a stake.

Most sadly, EDF management caved go the fascist voices on staff who refused to attend their annual retreat because it was being held at a beautiful hotel complex with a pro-American theme where Pat Robertson had a small stake in ownership.

Best wishes,


Is there a force-field preventing countries from becoming ‘strong low-carbon economies’?

This post grew from reading Ruth Dixon‘s excellent posts on the relationship between CO2 emissions, national wealth and climate, one of which is on her ‘Dixon’s Diamond Law‘. Ruth is focused on a more climate-centred perspective; however, her first post carries a graph from the UNEP that is shown below (Figure 1):

Infographic - Bubble Chart - per Capita

Figure 1

From the above, the linear relationship between GDP and CO2 emissions (both per-capita and on a log scale) is immediately obvious. But can we learn anything more? That was my question.

The same graph is shown below from Gapminder (Figure 2), only simpler – each dot is a country.


I drew an imaginary straight-line in dashes as shown. What is evident here (and in the UNEP graph) is that there are no countries in the wide area below and to the right of the imaginary line.

This is the space climate alarmists, the IPCC, Greenpeace, and now the latest in line, the Vatican want the world to be in. They would like to push as far to the bottom, and right, as possible – one where is wealth is intact and CO2 emissions per capita are low. Even any rightward push (i.e., increased wealth) is no absolute, the downward push (reduced CO2 emission) is paramount. They want to save the climate.

But you can go to Gapminder and examine the live version of the graph. The animation runs from 1960 to ~2011 and the invisible barrier should become well evident. Countries bounce along this parapet, pottering up and down or sideways but almost none cross it. There are no countries in the bottom-right area, say where $10,000 GDP/capita and 0.1 tonne CO2 meet (the spot marked ‘X’). Nor are any for miles in the wide swathes around it.

Clearly, this reflects some fundamental property. High wealth-for-low energy is a desirable target even for those unburdened by weighty climate concerns but this is simply not attained. The sheer emptiness of the region in the graph should give reason to pause, particularly to fantasy-prone and fretful physics professors. This is not a space where nations exist.

But, the picture above is not complete. What about the handful of countries close to and to the right of the dashed line at the top of the cloud of points? By re-plotting the graph with the x-axis (wealth) linear (Figure 3), the nature of the ‘invisible barrier’ and its exceptions become clearer:


Figure 3. See text for ‘A’ and ‘B’ countries.

The ‘barrier’ now shown as a solid line has a vertical portion ‘A’. Countries are stacked one above the other, starting from very low CO2 emissions/capita of 0.04 ton up to ~2 ton. Then there is a horizontally oriented segment ‘B’ where countries are more variable in CO2 emissions (between 4 and ~12 ton/capita roughly).

Again, take a look at Gapminder’s live version. Countries climb up along A – their CO2 emissions/capita goes up but GDP doesn’t budge much. The stack moves through emissions more than two orders in magnitude without change in GDP. ‘A’ is acquisition of infrastructural capacity and sophistication and maturity of political forms. Crucially, ‘A’ is diffusion of the capacity to emit CO2 throughout the population.

After about ~2 ton, the ‘barrier’ starts yielding. There is growth in GDP without increase in CO2 emissions. Countries roughly between 4 – 10 ton break the rightward shift barrier: in ‘B’ there are substantial increases in wealth without increases in CO2 (Figure 4).


Figure 4. India and China exemplify the ‘A’ stage where there is growth of CO2 emissions without much concomitant increase in GDP/capita. Portugal represents the transition from ‘A’ to ‘B’. Japan and the United States show significant increases in GDP along ‘B’ during 1960-2011 with their respective peak CO2 emissions occurring in the mid 1970s (at relatively higher levels compared to others, at 9 and 19 ton CO2, respectively)

Countries along ‘B’ are the the ones to the right of the dashed line in Figure 2. These are mainly European nations, the United States and Japan (Figure 5). Per-capita increases in wealth occur along B, only at the top-end of A. i.e, after attainment of a certain capacity to emit CO2. There are no exceptions.

Secondly, most ‘B’ countries employ significant nuclear power. Deployment of substantive nuclear power only occurs along the ‘B’ curve; with the exception of India and China, there are no countries in ‘A’ with substantial nuclear deployment.


Figure 5. GDP trajectories from 1960 through 2011 for European countries is shown. The starting point for the data as evident in the country labels is quite variable. Nonetheless, the rough trend in Europe is along ‘B’ – increase in GDP without increases in CO2 particularly after the early 1980s (marked by red arrow). US is shown in yellow


Analyzing national wealth and energy use is not straightforward. But surprisingly, there is a clear conclusion to be drawn—the low-carbon-high-wealth or even the low-carbon-moderate-wealth country does not exist. It has not existed to date. Dissociation between wealth and per-capita CO2 occurs only at the higher end of per-capita CO2. Importantly, contrary to portrayals of ‘decarbonization’ of economies as an universal good (Roger Pielke Jr), reduction, or more precisely a lack of increase in CO2 with GDP is possible only at the higher end of per-capita CO2. It appears one needs to go up in order to come down.

The Greenpeace ‘Archaeologist’

When the Nazca lines fiasco broke, Greenpeace’s response was to assure the world it worked with an archaeologist, taking every possible precaution:

Questions arose immediately:

Peru’s deputy Minister of Culture Luis Jaime Castillo went so far as to say the archaeologist was ‘the person you have to identify’

An archaeologist was identified in a New York Times report of the incident. It named Wolfgang Sadik, an ‘archaeologist-turned activist’ who we were told had ‘set aside his studies to work for Greenpeace’. The NYT relied on a Reuters video to relay how Sadik seemed to be directing ‘some of the other activists’. It quoted photographer Rodrigo Abd:

“The archaeologist explained where to walk and where not to walk,”… “There was a great concern not to even leave a mark of your shoes on the ground, and if a rock was moved put it back in its place.”

The article further quoted Wolfgang Neubauer of the University of Vienna who informed Sadik was his doctoral candidate and had ‘put off his studies to work with Greenpeace.’

This blog will show there’s more than what the New York Times let its readers in for.

Far from being a consultant archaeologist, Wolfgang Sadik is a committed long-time Greenpeace activist who has conducted several campaigns for the organization including some in leadership positions.

Sadik’s recorded Greenpeace activism appears to begin over a decade ago in 2003 when he appeared in Tuwaitha, Iraq near Baghdad as a ‘Greenpeace spokesman’. He was part of a 6-member Greenpeace team that measured radiation and radiation sickness at sites where looted material from the Tuwaitha nuclear facilities had made their way.

In 2007, Greenpeace planned for a symbolism-laden stunt at Mount Ararat near Turkey. Sadik was the leader. Battling skepticism within Greenpeace (‘too sentimental, too American, not serious enough’) Sadik pushed plans for building a boat-shaped ‘Noah’s ark’ structure on the slopes of the mountain to coincide with a G8 summit at Heiligendamm.

Greenpeace Ark – the brainchild of Wolfgang Sadik. (c) Norman Grant

In one respect, similarities between the Nazca stunt and Greenpeace’s Ark are striking. As the team ‘action coordinator’ he reasoned:

 The Ark was an available and widely-known symbol, so why not use it?

The ark project was successful in attracting month-long ‘international media attention’ (Greenpeace criterion for success); the source article reports Sadik thought the stunt ‘had had the biggest impact of any campaign Greenpeace had ever created in that part of the world’.

In the period afterward, Sadik appears to have shifted to archaeology, working with Wolfgang Neubauer on archaeological excavations in Hallstatt, Austria. A 46-page glitzy pamphlet produced in 2008 highlights his work on the site. It is not clear when he stopped in archaeology.

In February 2011 Sadik surfaced in Fukushima, Japan, once again measuring radiation levels. This time, Der Spiegel was laundering Sadik’s views as a ‘Greenpeace expert’ as it warned of a possible reactor meltdown. He was already back with Greenpeace earlier in the year: in January he was in a round-table discussion with host Reinhard Ueberhorst in his capacity as Greenpeace’s ‘Energy 2010 campaign manager’. Last year Sadik took part in another ark building projectArche2020‘ as ‘project coordinator’ from Greenpeace Germany.

From the above, it is evident Greenpeace performed little to no archaeological due diligence in planning their Nazca act. Instead of employing external and independent expertise, it went with what was available inside, using wrong advice from an activist member as cover for its actions. It is not known if other archaeologists were present in the Greenpeace team.

UPDATE: DGH (@Bioreducer) points out Sadik’s involvement with Greenpeace goes further back, with a 1997 report of a Greenpeace ‘Genetic Hazard Patrol’ chaining itself to a ‘tanker truck containing 35,000 litres of genetically engineered soya oil’ in Rotterdam, which likely included Sadik.

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